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Sunday
Jan092011

Sunday's Hymn

Hallelujah, What a Saviour!

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

—Philip P. Bliss

Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.

Saturday
Jan082011

Round the Sphere Again: Worldview

The One Definitive Account of God’s Purposes
Two from Al Mohler on the Christian worldview as master narrative. (More to come, I think.)

Feast for the Eye and Mind
I’ve just begun reading Nancy Pearcey’s new book Saving Leonardo, which is, according to the subtitle, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning. Al Mohler says that in this book “Pearcey provides a penetrating analysis of the nature of contemporary secularism, a helpful exposition of how we got to the present situation, and a well-crafted strategy for changing the situation.” And, he goes on, “Saving Leonardo should be put in the hands of all those who should always be ready to give an answer — and that means all of us.”

I haven’t read much of it, but what I have read tells me I’ve going to find it to be pleasurable and worthwhile read. I know this for sure: Saving Leonardo is a beautiful book. No wonder Makoto Fujimura calls it  “[a] feast for the mind and for the eye.” I haven’t read a book as aesthetically pleasing as this in a very long time. It’s large, with glossy white pages, lots of full-colour illustrations, and an exceptional binding. I want to call it text-book quality, if there is such a thing. Perhaps you’ve been looking at the price and thinking that it’s a little steep; I know I did. But the quality makes the book a bargain at its slightly higher than usual price.

Friday
Jan072011

She's Making a List: Reading Romans 8 As a Trinitarian

When I read passages the New Testament, I like to keep track of what is said about the three persons of the Trinity, particularly noting what the passage teaches about the roles each has in salvation (thinking, of course, of salvation as the whole shebang from God’s foreknowing right through to glorification and the consummation of all things.)

Here is Romans 8:26ff:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And here’s a quick list of what this passage tells us about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Father (or “God” as Paul often refers to the Father)

  • searches hearts (27)
  • wills, purposes (27, 28)
  • works things together for good (28)
  • calls (29, 30)
  • foreknows (29)
  • predestines (29, 30)
  • justifies (30, 33)
  • glorifies (30)
  • is for us (31)
  • gave up the Son (32)
  • gives us all things with Christ (32)
  • loves us (39)

The Son

  • is the image we are conformed to (29)
  • is the firstborn of many brothers (29)
  • was not spared, but was given up (32)
  • died (34)
  • was raised (34)
  • is at the right hand of the Father (34)
  • intercedes for us (34)
  • loves us (35)

The Spirit

  • helps us in our weakness (26)
  • intercedes for us according to the will of God (27)

Doing lists like this helps me see that there’s really nothing that could make sense of the way scripture speaks of the work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit except that the one God exists as as Trinity. Yes, this is a doctrine that is difficult to understand and yes, our language is inadequate to explain it, but a careful reader of scripture cannot deny that the Trinity is there, implicit in so much of what the apostles teach us about the work of God in history and in our lives. That God is Trinity is underlying it all: God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; each person is fully God; there is one God.

As J. I Packer says, “All non-Trinitarian formulations of the Christian message are by biblical standards inadequate and indeed fundamentally false…”

Thursday
Jan062011

Round the Sphere Again: Complementarianism

Two from Thabiti
I guess this isn’t really so much round the sphere, as travelling to one spot in the sphere. Thabiti Anyabwile has two posts (There will be more, I think.) discussing the biblical way to be a complementarian church, giving women roles that are biblical and meaningful:

  • I’m a Complementarian, But…  
    …over the next couple weeks, I want to sketch out about 10 things I see women doing in the scripture that help shape and define meaningful feminine roles in the church, roles well beyond serving in the nursery and helping organize the next potluck.
  • I’m a Complementarian, But… Women Must Be Taught and They Must Teach 
    I think we’d be healthier churches and our sisters would have healthier experiences in our churches if we could envision a wider field of usefulness for women that includes teaching in appropriate settings and does not view every instance of teaching as a threat to male headship.  I’m a complementarian, but the Bible teaches that there’s more women can and should do in this area without overturning the structure of authority also plainly taught in the Bible.

I have to admit that while I’m a firm complementarian, I don’t have a firm grip on exactly how that works out in the roles women take in the church. I’m glad Thabiti is doing this and I’m hoping to learn from it.

Thursday
Jan062011

Thankful Thursday

This time of year is difficult for me for a bunch of reasons. I’m thankful that God carries me through this month year after year. I’m thankful that God brought me and my family (and my pets) safely through another year. I’m thankful that he continued to provide what I need, too.

I’m thankful the sons have still more work and weather warm enough to do the jobs that’ve been booked. I’m glad that God has kept their work fairly steady through times that might have been lean.

I’m thankful that “he who began a good work in [me] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” I’m thankful that I can be confident of this.

Throughout this year I’m planning to post a few thoughts of thanksgiving each Thursday along with Kim at the Upward Call and others.